Christmas in Devon 2021 – brilliant festive family events
The Christmas count down is on – yes, already! I may be biased but Christmas in Devon is wonderful and I can’t wait for it to arrive again. Especially after so much had be cancelled last year. So, in preparation for this festive season, I’ve pulled together what I think is a pretty comprehensive guide to what’s on in Devon in December 2021 so far. It includes Christmas events at attractions, festive shows, where to meet Santa in Devon and who is running The Polar Express™.
UPDATE: events in 2021 could be subject to change. Always check with organisers and venues before you travel and adhere to the latest government guidelines.
Christmas in Devon: the ultimate guide for families
Grab your Santa hats and prepare your waistline for mince pies aplenty as Devon gets set for Christmas.
Below you’ll discover everything there is currently to know about where to meet Santa, Devon Christmas markets, shows, winter trails, Santa steam trains in Devon, illuminations, what’s on at National Trust houses and oodles of festive cheer.
You might also like to take some Christmas present inspiration from my Devon gift guide.
Here’s what Christmas in Devon looks like in 2021 so far…
Christmas shows and pantomimes in Devon
Here are the Christmas shows and pantomimes happening in Devon in 2021:
Matthew Bourne’s Nutcracker! at The Theatre Royal Plymouth
Nutcracker! provides family-sized helpings of Bourne’s trademark wit, pathos and magical fantasy, as you follow Clara’s bittersweet journey from a darkly comic Christmas Eve at Dr. Dross’ Orphanage, through a shimmering, ice-skating winter wonderland to the scrumptious candy kingdom of Sweetieland, influenced by the lavish Hollywood musicals of the 1930’s.
Matthew Bourne’s Nutcracker!, The Theatre Royal Plymouth, 15 to 20 November 2021.
Slava’s Snowshow at The Theatre Royal Plymouth
This multi-sensory show for all ages set in a dream-like world will touch both your heart and funny bone!
Enter Slava’s snowy world for a once in a life time, joyous, fun packed event culminating in a blizzard that puts you firmly at the centre of the action leaving you literally knee-deep in show!
Slava’s Snowshow has entertained audiences in over 80 countries including, Paris, Los Angeles, New York, Rome, Hong Kong and Moscow, receiving universal worldwide acclaim.
Slava’s Snowshow, The Theatre Royal, Plymouth, 30 November to 5 December 2021.
White Christmas the Musical at The Theatre Royal Plymouth
This spectacular brand-new production of Irving Berlin’s White Christmas is coming to Plymouth direct from the West End.
This timeless romantic comedy will warm the hearts of all ages with classic songs Blue Skies, Sisters, and the most famous festive song of all White Christmas.
White Christmas the Musical, The Theatre Royal, Plymouth, 7 to 11 December 2021.
Aladdin at The Theatre Royal Plymouth
Follow Aladdin, his brother Wishee Washee, and of course his mother Widow Twankey, on a spectacular adventure. Expect flying carpets, a wish-granting genie, an evil sorcerer and a lamp-full of laughs, so book your magic carpet ride to old Peking to the magical pantomime Aladdin!
Tickets are on sale now!
Aladdin The Theatre Royal, Plymouth, 17 December 2021 to 3 January 2022.
Cinderella at Queens Theatre Barnstaple
From the team that brought you Snow White And The Seven Dwarfs, the much loved classic rags to riches fairytale, Cinderella, bursts to life with heaps of audience participation, spectacular costumes, dazzling sets and enchanting special effects, Cinderella is guaranteed to be an unforgettable pantomime experience.
So polish your pumpkins, dust off your gowns, grab your glass slippers and head to the ball of the year for the ultimate pantomime.
Santa’s Christmas Cracker, Queens Theatre, Barnstaple, 10 to 31 December 2021.
Jack and the Beanstalk at The Palace Theatre
Jack’s back to deliver another fabulous pantomime at the Palace Theatre, Paignton in 2021. Jack’s task is to scale the beanstalk and rescue the Princess from the scary giant with the help or hindrance of the usual pantomime characters both good and bad.
Will he succeed? A professional script, five professional musicians, dazzling costumes, wonderful dancing and humour brought to you by the best of local talent and a few surprises.
Jack and the Beanstalk, The Palace Theatre, Paignton, 18 December 2021 to 2 January 2022.
The Magic of Christmas at The Palace Theatre
Torbay’s ultimate Christmas show is guaranteed to get you in the Christmas spirit. With singing, dancing and laughs all round, this show will take you on a sleigh ride through classic, pop and rock Christmas hits to fill you full of festive cheer.
Sit back and enjoy beautiful harmony, toe-tapping routines and sketches that will have you laughing to the North Pole and back.
The Magic of Christmas, The Palace Theatre, Paignton, 1 to 3 December 2021.
Where to meet Santa in Devon 2021
If Christmas just wouldn’t be Christmas without a trip to Santa’s grotto, then here’s where to find Father Christmas in Devon in 2021. Also see the Christmas events at Devon attractions below. Santa is bound to make an appearance!
Sail with Santa and Stuart Line Cruises
Meet Santa on the River Exe this Christmas by hopping onboard a Stuart Line Cruises.
There will be magic and balloon modelling at guests’ tables as well as all the usual festive fun on this very special grotto ride. For adults there will be commentary about the river, mulled wine and mince pies.
Sail with Santa, Exmouth, selected dates between 4 December and 23 December 2021. Book online.
Santa’s Grotto at Bow Garden Centre
Keep an eye on the Bow Garden Centre website for news about Santa’s visit in 2021.
Santa usually visits over the weekends in the run up to Christmas so children can meet him in his grotto and take part in a craft activities and treasure trails, as well as receiving a gift to take away. Booking in advance is essential.
Visit Santa, Bow Garden Centre, Crediton, TBC in 2021.
Santa’s Grotto at The House of Marbles
The House of Marbles at Bovey Tracey is somewhere you’ll usually find a Santa’s Grotto and post box.
Keep an eye on this free Devon attraction’s website for more information closer to Christmas 2021.
House of Marbles, Bovey Tracey, TBC in 2021.
Father Christmas at Bicton Park Gardens
Father Christmas will be visiting Bicton Park on selected dates between 4 and 23 December 2021.
Keep an eye on the Garden’s website for more information.
Bicton Park Gardens, Budleigh Salterton, 4 to 23 December 2021.
Winter wonderlands in Devon
These events are a bit more than a Christmas market with other attractions for the whole family to enjoy.
Exeter Winter Wonderland
Set in the heart of the city centre, the new for 2021 Exeter Winter Wonderland is billed as a magical day out for the whole family to enjoy.
There will be an ice rink and Santa’s grotto as well as rides and locally-sourced festive refreshments.
The Winter Wonderland is free entry, with tickets available to purchase for the ice rink and Santa’s Grotto.
Exeter Winter Wonderland, Northernhey Gardens, 17 November 2021 to 2 January 2022.
Christmas Village North Devon
Plans are being put together for a Christmas Village in Barnstaple. There will be an ice rink, Santa’s grotto, live music and craft stalls.
Christmas Village North Devon, 19 November 2021 to 3 January 2022.
Christmas and Santa trains in Devon
Here’s the Christmas trains coming to Devon for Christmas in 2021:
The Polar Express™ at South Devon Railway
All aboard The Polar Express for a magical ride to the North Pole with South Devon Railway. Tickets go on sale for this much anticipated Christmas event in Devon on Monday 7 June 2021.
Join the Conductor and his crew as they recreate scenes from the film in the carriages as you journey between Buckfastleigh and Totnes before visiting Santa’s workshop.
The Polar Express, South Devon Railway, Paignton, selected dates from 20 November to 23 December 2021.
Train of Lights at Dartmouth Steam Railway
Tickets are on sale for the 2021 Train of Lights. This magical illuminated journey through the South Devon countryside is a special Christmas treat that all ages will enjoy.
Board the vintage train carriages decked with thousands of fairy lights at Paignton and take a round trip to Kingswear. Along the way there will be a festive show at Churston Station.
Train of Lights, Dartmouth Steam Railway, Paignton, 24 November to 30 December 2021 (excluding 24-26 December).
The Polar Express™ at Seaton Tramway
The Polar Express is coming to Seaton Tramway in Devon this Christmas! Board this the magical tram ride to Santa’s home at the North Pole in one of the specially decorated single deck tramcars. There will be hot chocolate, a delicious treat and a chance to speak to Santa while you admire the awesome lights of the North Pole.
Children will also receive a gift from Santa.
The Polar Express, Seaton Tramway, Seaton, 26 November to 24 December 2021.
Christmas events at Devon attractions
Devon’s attractions put on a great show at Christmas with special events and displays during the festive season.
Here’s where you can expect to find events when they are announced and some announcements that have already been made about what’s on in Devon this December:
Christmas Wonderland Illuminations at Babbacombe Model Village
Enter a magical miniature wonderland of festive lights at Babbacombe Model Village this Christmas.
The lights will be turned on between 4pm and 7pm from 18 to 31 December, excluding Christmas Day and Boxing Day.
Babbacombe Model Village in Torquay, 18 to 31 December 2021.
Festive weekends at The Milky Way Adventure Park
The Milky Way and its family theme park attractions are usually open for festive visits in December.
Full details about what’s on will be available on this North Devon attraction’s website closer to Christmas.
The Milky Way Adventure Park, Bideford, TBC in 2021.
Crealy festive weekends
Expect Crealy Adventure Park to be decked with Christmas decorations. Last year there was a Christmas Parade and in previous years there have been performances in the Big Top and a Santa’s toy workshop.
Keep an eye on this Devon theme park’s website for more information closer to Christmas.
Also take a look at our full guide to days out at Crealy Adventure Park.
Christmas at Crealy, Exeter, TBC in 2021.
Christmas at The Big Sheep
The Big Sheep is known for loving a party so expect Christmas 2021 to be no different.
Keep an eye on The Big Sheep’s website for more information closer to Christmas.
The Big Sheep, Bideford, TBC in 2021.
Christmas Nativity at Pennywell Farm
There’s always a magical nativity at Pennywell Farm. Expect tickets for the 2021 Christmas event to go on sale after the summer.
Pennywell Farm, Buckfastleigh, TBC in 2021.
What’s on at National Trust properties in Devon this Christmas
Christmas at Killerton
A brand new, after-dark illuminated trail will run through the gardens at Killerton this Christmas.
See twinkling lights and hear the air filled with seasonal sounds around this National Trust property north of Exeter. Don’t forget to look out for Father Christmas along the way.
Killerton National Trust, Cullompton, 26 November 2021 to 2 January 2022, Killerton
Don’t forget to also check my post on things to do in Devon this Winter.
Devon Christmas markets and fairs
Here’s the Christmas markets in Devon that I’ve spotted so far:
Plymouth Christmas Show 2021
There will be festive crafts crafts, gifts, seasonal fashions and decor at this Christmas show in November.
Plymouth Christmas Show, Plymouth Guildhall, 20 November 2021.
Tavistock Christmas Market 2021
Pick up gifts, Christmas cakes, candles and cookware as well as cards, home furnishings and handcrafted decorations from the best local traders in the South West.
Entry is free.
Tavistock Christmas Market, Town Hall Dairy, Tavistock, 6 November 2021.
Where to buy a Christmas tree in Devon
If Christmas just wouldn’t be Christmas without a real tree here’s where to buy a Christmas tree in Devon:
- Cotley Farm Christmas trees, near Ottery St Mary
- Connet Farm, Honiton
- Dartmoor Christmas Trees, Haldon
- Marldon Christmas Tree Farm, Marldon
- Stacey’s Christmas Tree Farm, Holsworthy
- John Cockram Christmas Trees, Chulmleigh Hill
- John Cockram Christmas Trees, Horwood.
Phew, what a lot there is going on this Christmas in Devon, even in 2021! What takes your fancy? I’m sure there’s events I’ve missed so please do get in touch if you think something should be added.
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